Close the Gap hedgerows project
Last year, The Tree Council and partners (including Hedgelink) were delighted to receive a grant of £1.8 million from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund for an exciting new Close the Gap hedgerow project.
The 18-month project, now in full swing, is helping to shape the future of England’s hedgerows in four ways: through hedgerow planting and ‘gapping up’; by gathering and sharing knowledge to improve hedgerow management; by ensuring good local supplies of future hedgerow trees through local seed nurseries; and by engaging the public with England’s important hedgerow heritage.
- Establishing and restoring 53km of urban and rural hedgerows with partners, community groups and farmers.
- Encouraging surveying of hedgerows, via a new ‘Healthy Hedges’ app.
- Updating the Hedgelink website to include an online knowledge hub and shared training materials on hedgerow surveying, planting and management.
- Supporting 10 new horticulture trainees.
- New community seed nurseries nationwide to create biosecure future tree supplies.
- Raising awareness of the value of hedgerows through a new National Hedgerow Week.
Sara Lom, CEO at The Tree Council, said: “The Committee on Climate Change called for 200,000km of new hedgerows to help achieve net zero carbon – but hedges are often forgotten in conversations about a greener future. Close the Gap will boost the immense potential of our hedgerows – for biodiversity, carbon-capture, conserving our natural cultural heritage and more. We want everyone to understand and value their local hedgerows and for more young people to consider the exciting land-based careers they offer. We’re grateful to National Lottery Heritage Fund for funding this partnership of leading organisations to improve the future of UK hedgerows.”
The project partners include The Tree Council, Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group, People’s Trust for Endangered Species, Moor Trees, the University of Reading, The Royal Parks Guild and Hedgelink. The project is funded by the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund, which is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.